08 April, 2021

Get a taste for the world’s best honey in Tasmania

Looking for delicious souvenirs? You can’t go past the island’s liquid gold – including the legendary leatherwood honey.

What’s so special about Tassie’s honey? This island is among the planet’s cleanest, greenest places, with a temperate climate too, so lots of happy bees are producing lots of pure, delicious honey – particularly the variety unique to the state, made using nectar from leatherwood trees’ white flowers.

Only found in Tasmania’s western rainforests, leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida) flowers in summer and early autumn. That’s when you’ll see manmade hives stacked up in the western wilderness, where bees are busy producing distinctively flavoured, strongly scented leatherwood honey. Make a beeline for these top honey shops and buy a jar or three.

Leatherwood (Eucryphia lucida) on the Overland Track, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Photo: Sarajayne Lada

Hive of activity

The Beehive, near Launceston, is the shop for small family beekeeping business Honey Tasmania. Their love of nature, especially bees and honey, is apparent inside: handcrafted wooden shelves are stacked with 15 raw honey varieties, including peppermint gum, banksia and leatherwood of course. There’s also honey-based alcohol, skincare products made from honey and beeswax, bee-inspired gifts and a display beehive safely behind glass.

The Tasmanian Honey Company. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osbourne

Honey bunch

Another hands-on boutique business near Launceston, The Tasmanian Honey Company makes wild honeys, including blue gum and Christmas bush varieties. Pop into their shop and choose from these and other sweet temptations including three Honey Nouveau offerings: honey mixed with either ginger, orange or chocolate. Or get something nice for home and body, such as beeswax candles and lip balm.

Beekeepers producing premium honey sourced from the pristine Tarkine wilderness of Tasmania since 1955. Photo: Rob Burnett

A taste of the wilderness

About 90 minutes west of Devonport, Blue Hills Honey is a family business established in 1955. The third generation now gather honey from the north-west’s vast Tarkine rainforest – including leatherwood, available straight-up or creamed with ginseng or Tasmanian pepperberry. Their Tarkine Wilderness honey is even more distinctive: it’s made by bees that gather nectar from numerous native blossoms, so it tastes slightly different every season. Don’t buzz off too quickly – there’s also a cafe and bee-themed playground here.

Bee bonanza

About 45 minutes’ drive south of Devonport, Melita Honey Farm’s shop ticks every bee-related box. Alongside educational displays including heritage beekeeping equipment and a live hive, there are heaps of goodies to buy. Choose from 50-plus honey varieties, eight honey nougats, chocolate-honey paste, honey icecream, honey-balsamic glaze and mead, a traditional fermented honey drink. Other products that get visitors buzzing include honey soap and shampoo, beeswax products such as candles and furniture polish, and bees’ most precious output: royal jelly and propolis, long used as natural medicines.

The Honey Pot. Photo: Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osbourne

Dip into The Honey Pot

The Wright family moves their 900 hives from Lake Pedder to Bruny Island and the Huon and Derwent valleys, following Tasmania’s seasonal blossoms. The result is several distinctive honeys, such as prickly box and summer blossom, available from The Honey Pot shops on Bruny Island and in Huonville, near Hobart. Find your honeyed heart’s desire, from honey mustard and honey-soaked walnuts to honey fudge and lollypops. Perhaps some skincare including Manuka honey hand and face creams, bee-themed flights of fancy like gumboots and earrings, and a Honey Pot tote bag to carry it all home.

Choose your flavour

Having acquired a few apiaries over time, Australian Honey Products has the most beehives in Tasmania. Their output isn’t mixed up and sold under one label though. They’ve maintained distinctive brands like Cradle Mountain Honey and Sheffield Honey Farm, which is Australia’s oldest apiary. Established in 1898, this property about 30 minutes’ south of Devonport has a shop offering Australian Honey Products’ all-Tasmanian range, including clover, Manuka and lavender honeys. There’s also a Launceston store, so it’s easy to sample taste sensations like single-malt whisky mead.

Beekeepers producing premium honey sourced from the pristine Tarkine wilderness of Tasmania since 1955. Photo: Rob Burnett

Hobart’s most bee-autiful shop

While Beauty and the Bees sells honey, this Salamanca Place store is more about products for face, body and hair, especially ones made using leatherwood honey. From lip balm to baby soap and shampoo bars (including for beards), they are created by hand from scratch using local, natural products, and never tested on animals or wrapped in plastic. Bee nice to yourself and the planet with a few souvenirs for pampering back home.


Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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